culture of selfishness

So here’s a meme (woohoo! Web2.0 point!) that I’ve been thinking about for a while.

There’s been a whole lot of political hoo-hah lately about trying to distill out the essence of each side (dem vs repub, liberal vs conservative, etc. etc.) and I think I might finally have something. It hit me whilst I’m supposed to be doing my Japanese homework.

The basic difference between republicans and democrats appears to be a general culture of selfishness versus a culture of generosity.

Think about it. The big themes of late of the Republican Party (ignore the ‘smaller government’ stuff, it’s not happening) have been:
1) Lower my taxes
2) Make me feel secure (even if you have to screw someone else over to do it)
3) Make my friends rich (subsidies, bailouts, more tax cuts, laws that unbalance the market)
4) Immigration restriction (this land/services/whatever is mine, you can’t have any)

Whereas the Democratic platform appears to be more oriented towards generosity:
1) Invest in schools, social services, universal health care, so that those without trust funds can benefit from them and ‘move up’ in the world
2) Raise the minimum wage, expand worker safety (can anyone say “mine accident”?), do that health care thing again
3) Level the playing field between all competitors (compete on merit rather than cronyism), and remind the world what “free market” actually means.

These points are more complicated than the Republican ones, but rather than the end result being “I and my buddies get something”, the end result will be “If it’s fair, everyone has a shot at getting something”.

That’s not to say everything in the Democratic platform is good; indeed, not everything in the Republican platform is bad. But I don’t think the difference gets more basic than this.

2 thoughts on “culture of selfishness”

  1. Even though I tend toward the socialist, I can see the value in some of the Republican “core values”; my problem lately is, as you outlined above, the motivation behind them, the corruption and the “I got mine, you get yours”ishness of them. No, I am definitely more of a Democrat, but to be honest, I think that, in a perfect world, the system would need to be entirely redone.

  2. The best way I heard this expressed is that Republicans believe we are all in this alone and Dems believe we are all in this together….

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